Bill to make Christie repay 2016 security costs advances

IMG_3433TRENTON — A bill to force Gov. Chris Christie and all governors who follow him to reimburse New Jersey taxpayers for travel and security expenses associated with their out-of-state political trips easily cleared the Senate’s State Government committee Thursday. “All we are asking for is fairness here,” said Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), the bill’s sponsor. “If… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: July 23rd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

O’Scanlon: We MUST move forward on pension and budget reform

By Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon

Now that the 2016 budget debate is over, we must get back to the most pressing state issue of our time.  The suggestion of some in the public worker sector that those of us who voted against the budget are in favor of our abandoning our commitment to ensuring their pensions is completely false.  For any responsible elected official, and decent human being, it is imperative that we meet our commitments in a way that protects our pubic workers – and the NJ economy at the same time.

The reason we couldn’t make a payment larger than the $1.3 billion one included in the Governor’s budget has nothing to do with a lack of will or integrity.  It’s about devoting as much $ as possible without inflicting massive, economy-killing, tax increases on an economy just now showing signs of real growth.  Without economic growth there will be no chance we will be able to meet our commitments to the system in the many years to come – so ensuring growth is as important to public workers as anyone else.  We don’t simply have a $1.8 billion deficit this year. We have a $6 to $7 billion hole over the next few years. Taxing the life out of our economy this year, with no plan going forward – and leaving us in a $2 billion hole next year as the Democrat’s proposed budget would – is bad policy, for all New Jerseyans.

But it is true as well that we can’t foster growth to the exclusion of our obligation to our dedicated public workers.  And I can’t state that point vehemently enough.  Our teachers and other public workers are decent, devoted, professional people.  Generalizations to the contrary are without merit.

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Posted: July 11th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2015 Legislative Races, Declan O'Scanlon, Economy, Monmouth County, Monmouth County News, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, NJ State Legislature, Opinion | Tags: , , , , | 13 Comments »

Christie signs bill giving EMS contract to hospital chaired by power broker Norcross

TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie on Monday signed a bill that wrests control of emergency ambulance services in Camden from one south Jersey hospital chain and gives it its competitor, Cooper Health, overseen by south Jersey power broker George Norcross. Virtua Health, with hospitals in Voorhees, Marlton and Berlin in suburban Camden County, has provided advanced… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: July 7th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, George Norcross, Health Care, New Jersey, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Christie signs bill giving EMS contract to hospital chaired by power broker Norcross

Christie promises veto of Dems’ tax increases, mum on pension cuts

TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie took a scolding tone with the state’s Democratic lawmakers Thursday night, saying he planned to veto $1.1 billion in tax hikes outright but declining to say how much smaller the state’s contribution to the pension system would be. On his monthly radio show on New Jersey 101.5, Christie answered “yes” to… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: June 26th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Christie promises veto of Dems’ tax increases, mum on pension cuts

FDU Poll: New Jersey Lacks Leadership

Stronger than the storm50% of New Jersey voters think our State’s problems are solvable, but that our politicians are not willing to stick their necks out to get our State moving in the right direction.  That’s the take away from the FDU Public Mind Poll released this morning which indicates that Governor Chris Christie approval rating is upside down, 30%-55% and that the State Legislature’s approval rating is negative 24%-44%.

28% of the 792 self identified registered voters survey by FDU from June 15-21 said that New Jersey is moving in the right direction. 57% said we are on the wrong track.

Poll results that this should indicate that change is coming in November.   Don’t count on that happening, unless Christie shocks the world and announces that he is not running for president.

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Posted: June 23rd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2015 Elections, 2015 Legislative Races, Chris Christie, New Jersey, NJ Democrats, NJ GOP, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

N.J. Senate president turns sprinklers on gun rights protesters

NJ2AS protest outside Sen. Sweeney’s home Video taken by the New Jersey Second Amendment Society shows how a confrontation between their members and state Senate President Steve Sweeney outside his West Deptford home lead to the senator turning on his sprinklers to disperse activists. The protesters had hoped to press Sweeney to relax the state’s gun… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: June 19th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, New Jersey, News, NJ State Legislature, Stephen Sweeney | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

N.J. Dems pushing major changes to voting laws, an issue riling Christie & Clinton

voteTRENTON — Democratic legislative leaders plan to introduce and fast-track legislation that would make sweeping changes to New Jersey voting laws in an attempt to bring more voters to the polls in a state where turnout and registration rates are in decline, NJ Advance Media has learned. The “Democracy Act” will include about a dozen measures… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: June 15th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, News, NJ Constitution, NJ Democrats, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments »

N.J. Assembly Republicans promise aggressive challenge to Democrats in November

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Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick addressing New Jersey Republicans in Atlantic City, February 2, 2015. MMM file photo

TRENTON — With the primaries over and the general election season upon us, state Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick has a big challenge. Bramnick (R-Union) wants to be Assembly speaker. That means in November — when all 80 Assembly seats at the top of the ballot — he’ll need to flip at least nine Democratic-held seats… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: June 3rd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2015 Elections, 2015 Legislative Races, Assembly Republicans, Jon Bramnick, New Jersey, NJ GOP, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on N.J. Assembly Republicans promise aggressive challenge to Democrats in November

Self Service or Full Service, You’ll have to get out of your car before getting gas starting in 2017

Some Independent Gasoline Retailers Are At Odds With Their Lobbyist Who Is Pushing Self Service

O’Scanlon: Self Service bill will give consumers and retailers a choice.  Will decriminalize a harmless convenience

Starting in October of 2017 New Jersey drivers will have to get out of their cars, swipe their own credit or debit card and enter a PIN before an attendant can can pump gas into their car, according to a report at NorthJersey.com.

Consumers will no longer be allowed to hand their cards gas station employees due to new credit card security requirements, The Record quotes Sal Risalvato, executive director of the New Jersey Gasoline C-Store Automotive Association (NJGCA), an independent gas station owners group, as saying.

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Posted: May 18th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, New Jersey, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

O’Scanlon: When pumping gas, DON’T SET YOURSELF ON FIRE

Gas pump warning (576x439)Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon is offended by the argument that New Jerseyans are not capable of pumping their own gas without setting themselves on fire.  But in order to get his legislation that would decriminalize consumer gas pumping passed he in inserting language into the bill that would require signs on gas pumps for the protection of the mentally challenged and members of the Jersey City Council.

“I am offended by people that argue that New Jerseyans are mentally incapable of pumping their own gas without setting themselves on fire. But I hear them.  For that reason I am recommending language be inserted in the final bill that mandates signs at all self serve pumps, in bold red and blue flashing neon lettering, that reads “Do not, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, set yourself on fire!!”   I think that should resolve these concerns” O’Scanlon said when introducing the legislation.

O’Scanlon’s bill, which mirrors a bill in the Senate sponsored by Bergen County Senators Paul Sarlo and Gerald Cardinale, except for the signage language, would decriminalize gas pumping by consumers and provide for self-service islands at New Jersey gas stations. Each facility would be required to operate at least one island full service for three years following enactment, and the bill also allows for gas retailers to charge a lesser price for self-service gasoline.

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Posted: May 17th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 13th Legislative District, Assembly Republicans, Declan O'Scanlon, Monmouth County, Monmouth County News, New Jersey, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »